Recto bewails lack of water, sanitation in public schools
Many public schools still lack water, sanitation facilities, and electricity, according to Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto, who called on authorities to address the problems immediately.
The provision of clean water and reliable power in public schools must be a priority expenditure and regularly included in the Department of Education’s annual budget, said Recto.
Recto said the push to bring internet connectivity to schools must not overshadow the need to install these basic facilities for the students.
“Water pipes and power lines are as important as broadband cables,” he said in a statement.
According to him, 3,628 out of 46,739 schools nationwide are “zero-water” schools, citing data presented by the Department of Education last March.
Another 8,109 schools rely on rainwater catchment. This makes them “basically waterless,” he said.
A total of 18,393 schools nationwide have piped-in water, and 17,757 schools have deep wells, he further said.
Lack of water means a lack of sanitation facilities, he pointed out.
“There is a toilet shortage in all schools and you don’t need statistics to back that claim,” he said.
Recto warned that the lack of access to water affects not just students’ health but also school-based nutrition programs.
“How would you cook if there was no water?” he posed.
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